Premiere episode screenings of FX’s Snowfall and TV Land’s Younger, retro-dives into creepy classics Twin Peaks and The Outer Limits, and in-person conversations with David Costabile of Showtime’s Billions and Jeffrey Wright of HBO’s Westworld are among the highlights announced today for the second annual Split Screens television festival in New York.
Running May 30 to June 3, the fest will also honor Sandra Oh with its Vanguard Award and a special episode screening of the actress’ BBC America series Killing Eve. Oh will be in attendance.
See the entire festival line-up below.
Produced and presented by Manhattan’s IFC Center, and curated for the second year by New York Magazine TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz, Split Screen kicks off Wednesday, May 30, with a big-screen showing of The Americans‘ series finale and an audience discussion about the series moderated by Zoller Seitz. On June 1, The Americans showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields will join Seitz in a discussion of the series.
The fest concludes Sunday, June 3, with an evening conversation with Rhea Seehorn of AMC’s Better Call Saul. Other “Close-Up” conversations planned for the festival will feature Thomas Haden Church of HBO’s Divorce and Jean Smart of FX’s Legion.
In addition to various special events, the Split Screen Fest features four sections: Premieres of new series and episodes; Close-Up conversations with actors; Rewind screenings and discussions of iconic programs; and TV Talk panel discussions of TV-related topics. A panel of female directors will represent such series as Mr. Robot, The Walking Dead, Halt and Catch Fire, Orange is the New Black, Queen Sugar, Silicon Valley and Casual.
“This year’s festival speaks to the power of storytelling on all platforms,” said Seitz. “We have chosen to highlight series and actors that continue to engage, empower and excite a passionate base of fans — viewers who seek a destination like Split Screens where the conversation about their personal favorites is both meaningful and incredibly entertaining.”
Here’s the complete schedule, with abridged fest descriptions:
WEDNESDAY, MAY 30
9:30 PM – FAREWELL, COMRADES! THE AMERICANS FINALE VIEWING PARTY (FX) – SPECIAL EVENT
With six seasons of espionage and domestic drama coming to a close, Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields’ Cold War Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated FX series The Americans says farewell to its comrades in the viewing audience. The series finale will be shown live on the big screen at IFC Center, followed by a freewheeling audience discussion of the season, moderated by New York magazine TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz. Join as we ponder the fate of the Jennings family, the end of the Cold War, and the show’s six season May Day parade of astonishing wigs, glasses and fake mustaches… not to mention one of the smartest, most surprising uses of contemporaneous pop songs in TV history.
THURSDAY, MAY 31
7:00 PM – SMART TV: THE MANY FACES OF JEAN SMART – CLOSE-UP
In attendance: Actor Jean Smart
Jean Smart has received numerous accolades during her illustrious career spanning television, film and theater including two Emmy Awards for her role as Lana Gardener in Frasier, an Independent Spirit Award nomination for the feature film Guinevere and a Tony Award for her Broadway performance in The Man Who Came to Dinner. And who could forget her turn as Charlene Frazier Stillfield in the classic Designing Women?
Most recently, Smart’s career has been redefined thanks to starring roles in two critically-acclaimed FX series’ – Fargo and Legion. In this wide-ranging career survey, Smart will talk about the difference between drama and sitcom acting and how she manages to disappear into such a dazzling array of characters.
FRIDAY, JUNE 1
1:00 PM – THE AMERICANS: THE FINAL DEBRIEFING (FX) – SPECIAL EVENT
In attendance: Series creator and executive producer Joe Weisberg; executive producer Joel Fields
The Americans‘ showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields walk us through the rich narrative history of their Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated FX series (set around DC, but largely shot in New York), from its debut in 2012, which put a fresh spin on the newly minted tradition of antihero-driven drama, through its wrenching 2018 final season, which exposed deep fissures in a marriage of spies and set its fictional characters against real history with the deftness of Mad Men.
6:00 PM – MONEY IN THE BANK: DAVID COSTABILE IN BILLIONS (Showtime) – CLOSE-UP
In attendance: Actor David Costabile
From his breakthrough role on Damages through his hilarious and haunting turn as meth chef Gale Boetticher (the would-be Salieri to Walter White’s Mozart) on Breaking Bad, David Costabile is the sort of actor who draws the eye no matter where he is in the frame. He’s an electrifying listener and watcher, creating old fashioned movie star tension by making you wonder what his characters will say or do next.
He’s at the peak of his power inhabiting high finance enforcer Mike “Wags” Wagner on Showtime’s drama Billions, a character whose knife-flick menace is wreathed in elegance and dry wit. Join us as we discuss a great character actor’s bottomless repertoire of disappearing acts.
7:30 PM – ACTING MACHINE: WESTWORLD’S JEFFREY WRIGHT (HBO) – CLOSE-UP
In attendance: Actor Jeffrey Wright
Since his first movie star turn as the troubled savant artist of Basquiat, Jeffrey Wright has become one of the most versatile and mesmerizing of actors, playing everything from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the HBO film Boycott to a gangster kingpin and political leader on Boardwalk Empire.
Wright’s tour-de-force work on Westworld as two versions of the same character might be his most challenging assignment yet, somehow striking a perfect balance between felt emotion and analytical cool. Wright will walk audiences through the fine points of this performance and others in an hour-long discussion of acting craft.
SATURDAY, JUNE 2
11:00 AM – DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET: JOURNEY TO THE OUTER LIMITS – REWIND
In attendance: Scott Derrickson, director of Doctor Strange; classic TV expert Stephen Bowie (AV Club, Vulture); Reba Wissner, author of We Will Control All That You Hear: The Outer Limits and the Aural Imagination; Edgar Award-winning crime fiction author Wallace Stroby; fantasy novelist Daniel Kraus.
Now enshrined in a remastered Blu-ray box set from Kino Lorber, The Outer Limits will be commemorated with a big-screen showing of one of its most beloved episodes, “The Demon with the Glass Hand,” and discussed by a panel of passionate fans drawn from filmmaking, crime fiction, criticism and academia.
1:00 PM – THE SHOW IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMS: OR, CAN TV REALLY BE CINEMATIC – TV TALK
In attendance: Critics Candice Frederick, Frank Guan, Dennis Lim, Emily Nussbaum
The question above will be debated by Pulitzer prizewinning New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum; Dennis Lim, author of the David Lynch critical biography The Man from Another Place and director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center; Candice Frederick, who writes about film for The Daily Beast, Black Girl Nerds and other outlets; pop music and literature critic Frank Guan of Vulture; and moderator and Split Screens artistic director Matt Zoller Seitz, who named Twin Peaks: The Return his #1 TV program of 2017.
2:45 PM – THE WOMEN BEHIND THE CAMERA: FOUR TOP TV DIRECTORS ON SHOWING VS. TELLING – TV TALK
In attendance: Directors Tricia Brock, Gillian Robespierre, Julie Anne Robinson, Lauren Wolkstein
“Show, don’t tell.” You hear that phase bandied about all the time. It’s a guiding principle across the arts, especially in visual storytelling forms like cinema and TV. But what does it mean? A gathering of top TV directors explores the answer, showing clips from their own work and revealing how the magic happens. Our panel includes Tricia Brock (Mr. Robot, The Walking Dead, Halt and Catch Fire); Julie Anne Robinson (The Good Place, Masters of Sex, Orange is the New Black); Lauren Wolkstein (Queen Sugar), and Gillian Robespierre (Silicon Valley, Casual, Crashing). They’ll walk us through the choices they made in their own work, talk about some of their most cherished storytelling moments from film and television, and take questions from the audience about their craft.
5:00 PM – MR. AUTHENTICITY: THOMAS HADEN CHURCH FROM SIDEWAYS TO DIVORCE (HBO) – CLOSE-UP
In attendance: Actor Thomas Haden Church
Thomas Haden Church broke through on NBC’s Wings as one of the goofiest of TV sex symbols, deadpanning his way through sitcom shenanigans with his hound dog grin. But he went on to show increasingly deep and unexpected shadings, playing everything from a self-destructive hedonist in an Oscar-nominated supporting role in Alexander Payne’s hit movie Sideways to a strong-silent cowpoke in AMC’s Western miniseries Broken Trail.
He’s most excellent on HBO’s relationship comedy Divorce starring alongside Sarah Jessica Parker. This in-depth discussion will cover high points in Church’s career and explore his unique perspective on comedy and drama.
6:30 PM – STREETS OF GLASS: SNOWFALL‘S EPIC CRIME DRAMA (FX) – PREMIERE
In attendance: Co-creator/showrunner/executive producer/writer Dave Andron; consulting producer/writer Walter Mosley, star/”Franklin Saint” Damson Idris
After previewing the first episode of season two of Snowfall on the big screen, take a ride deep into the menacing heart of this sensational FX series, which tells a sprawling, politically charged story about the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic’s destabilizing effect on Southern California. Not content to be a mere crime thriller or muckraking docudrama, this epic portrait from John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood) & Eric Amadio (Shadows & Lies), and Dave Andron (Justified), paints a panoramic view of greater Los Angeles, showing how the national security state, local law enforcement and the daily hustle of street criminals intersect in the nexus of the drug trade. The latest addition to the show’s deep bench of screenwriters is Walter Mosley, author of the acclaimed Easy Rawlins novels and one of America’s greatest crime fiction writers.
SUNDAY, JUNE 3
11:00 AM – DAMN FINE COFFEE: TWIN PEAKS FAN THEORIES – TV TALK
In attendance: Presenters Jeremiah Beaver, Jennifer Condon, Matthew C., Andreas Halskov, Samantha McLaren, Donald McCarthy, Connor Ratliff
David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks created a new template for small-screen storytelling, mixing melodrama, surrealism, extreme violence, cliffhangers, and enough mysterious patterns and marginal details to inspire feverish theorizing. The most recent season, which ran on Showtime with the subtitle The Return, was even more unsettling and beguiling, as indebted to music, dance, mythology and performance art as to any tradition of cinema or TV. What was it saying? What was it doing? What was it?
Split Screens is proud to host an international gathering of Peaks obsessives, unveiling videos and multimedia presentations to prove grand unifying theories of what makes Agent Cooper’s cosmos tick.
Presentations include “The Tragedy and Triumph of Diane Evans,” “Talk about Judy,” “Ding-Dong, Cooper’s Dead,” “Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal as David Lynch’s Red Dragon,” “Peopled by Her Many Parts: Twin Peaks, Trauma, and Macrocosm-Microcosm,” “Just A Stranger’s Dream: A Unified Field Theory Of Twin Peaks,” and “Returning, Recycling and Remixing: Cut-Up and Collage in Twin Peaks: The Return.”
3:00 PM – VANGUARD AWARD: SANDRA OH – SPECIAL EVENT
With a special screening of Killing Eve’s Episode 1, “Nice Face” (BBC AMERICA)
In attendance: Actress Sandra Oh
Split Screens will sit down with Golden Globe and SAG Award-winning actress Sandra Oh, who now stars in the critically-acclaimed BBC America drama Killing Eve, which follows Oh as Eve, a bored, whip-smart, pay-grade MI5 security officer whose life changes when she’s tasked with hunting down a psychopathic assassin.
Oh’s expansive career is full of widely-praised performances, including this year’s “delicious, instantly addictive” Killing Eve, which have consistently impressed across film, theatre and television. She received extensive critical acclaim for her outstanding performance on Grey’s Anatomy, for which she received a Golden Globe, two SAG awards and five Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Other notable television roles include American Crime and HBO’s Arli$$. Oh’s award-winning performances in film include Sideways, Last Night and Double Happiness, and most recently she starred in the films Catfight and Window Horses.
5:00 PM – DEAD GIRLS: A TV OBSESSION – TV TALK
In attendance: Writers Alice Bolin, Megan Abbott, Sarah Weinman
From Laura and Lolita through Vertigo, Twin Peaks, True Detective and beyond, murdered women have driven some of the most influential and disturbing works of popular art. Author Alice Bolin explores the phenomenon in her provocative essay anthology Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, tracing her fascination with classic hardboiled fiction, film noir, true crime books, and cable series about unsolved murders and autopsies.
Bolin will be joined by two fellow experts in the field: Megan Abbott, writer for HBO’s The Deuce and acclaimed author of crime novels (including You Will Know Me and The Fever); and crime fiction expert Sarah Weinman, author of the upcoming The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World.
6:45 PM – THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT: THE BITTERSWEET MAGIC OF YOUNGER (TV Land) – PREMIERE
In attendance: Actors Debi Mazar, Nico Tortorella and Charles Michael Davis; Executive Producer Dottie Zicklin and Co-executive Producer Alison Brown
For four glorious seasons, Darren Star’s TV Land series Younger has told the story of 40-something single mother Liza Miller (Sutton Foster), who lies about her age at her job in the highly competitive world of publishing. For a very specific premise this series has proved itself endlessly inventive, quickly evolving into an ensemble comedy-drama about an extended community of friends and lovers making their mark in New York City. Join us for an exclusive advance screening of the season five premiere — one that promises to keep the characters, and the audience, on their toes – followed by a Q&A with cast and producers. Co-presented by TV Land
8:30 PM – KIM’S TURN: RHEA SEEHORN IN BETTER CALL SAUL (AMC) – CLOSE-UP
In attendance: Actor Rhea Seehorn
The backbone of AMC’s Emmy-nominated drama Better Call Saul, Rhea Seehorn’s Kim Wexler anchors a whirlwind of incidents and a heavy-hitting cast of veteran actors. And yet Kim is no mere reactive character: she’s an ethical person fighting a constant battle to maintain her standards even as she’s surrounded by lawyers and criminals who barely notice them, and engaged in a business and romantic partnership with an attorney who’s becoming more corrupt by the week.
The critically-acclaimed actress talks about the art of being Kim, her stints on Franklin & Bash and Whitney, how her training as a visual artist influences her acting, and what it’s like to work on a show that never gives its performers their story arcs in advance.